My friend Milan Bozic at Harper Collins calls every now and then with a great book cover design gig. This one hit the stores last week - it's a subject that's very near and dear to my heart after all the research I did on Lincoln and Booth when I worked on National Treasure, Book of Secrets. I could have really used this book then.
Here's the wood and lead type locked up on the bed of the press. All of these fonts were contemporaries of Lincoln - in fact they were manufactured during his life. And all were used on his campaign posters and on the wanted poster that was issued for Booth after he shot Lincoln. you can see some of this stuff has a lot of hard miles on it.
Another shot of the type. I later changed the author's name to a larger Clarendon.
I hand inked the type in black and red - to suggest the wound in Lincoln's head - and printed it letterpress, and then photographed the proof to pick up on the impression in the soft paper.
This is one of 4 or 5 comps I did. I have period Cartes de Visite photos of Lincoln and Booth, and a replica of Booth's pistol that I had made during my work on NT2. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to use them, but in the end the pure type version won out. Although we did keep the bullet hole from one of the comps.